Drishtee: Balancing Social Mission and Financial Sustainability in Rural India

Drishtee: Balancing Social Mission and Financial Sustainability in Rural India

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Abstract

This case follows the early developments of Drishtee, an Indian social enterprise, and the evolving thoughts of its CEO – Satyan Mishra. Drishtee, founded in 2001, was initially developed to address opportunities in information and communications technology (ICT) in rural India and scaled to serve people in over 9,000 villages. While the initial social opportunity appeared to be fairly straightforward (to provide fee-based digital government documents to rural citizens), a deeper analysis of the social problem leads the reader into the tangled world of social business. The venture faces regulatory and disintermediation challenges when trying to scale the provision of government services. As the venture starts to scale, it faces two distinct pivot points: first, when deciding whether to maintain a partnership with the government ...

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